From the time he was selected as the No. 15 overall pick in the 2013 NBA Draft, Giannis Antetokounmpo has managed to turn himself into one of the best active players in the league. In the 2018-19 NBA season where he won his first Most Valuable Player award, the 24-year-old power forward averaged 27.7 points, 12.5 rebounds, 5.9 assists, 1.5 blocks, and 1.3 steals while shooting 57.8 percent from the field. With his incredible performance on both ends of the floor, the Bucks view Antetokounmpo as the player who could help them end their decades of title drought.
However, since the 2019 NBA offseason started, rumors continue to circulate around Giannis Antetokounmpo and his future with the Bucks. Antetokounmpo has already said on numerous occasions that he intends to finish his NBA career with the Bucks and that he has no interest in teaming up with other NBA superstars just to win an NBA championship title. But according to Tim Bontemps of ESPN, many NBA superstars have also said the same thing as Antetokounmpo but still ended up leaving their respective teams.
These include Kyrie Irving last October, Dwight Howard in March 2012, LaMarcus Aldridge in 2014, and Kevin Durant in July 2015. Giannis Antetokounmpo will be eligible to sign a massive contract extension worth $253.8 million over five years in the 2020 NBA offseason, and the outcome of the 2019-20 NBA season will likely play a major role whether he will ink a new contract or test the free agency market in the summer of 2021. As Bontemps noted, if Antetokounmpo declines to sign the supermax extension, the Bucks “would almost be forced” into trading the reigning MVP next summer.
“If Antetokounmpo turns down the supermax extension next summer, he’ll immediately become one of those players big-market teams target. Without a long-term deal in place, the Bucks would almost be forced into trading him a year before his contract is up so as not to risk losing him for nothing in free agency in 2021 the way the Raptors did with Leonard this past summer. And if Antetokounmpo decides his long-term future isn’t in Milwaukee, he’ll also have the leverage to affect where he winds up. Davis certainly did in getting to the Lakers this summer.”
The NBA will undeniably go into a frenzy once the Bucks officially make Giannis Antetokounmpo available on the trading block next summer. The 29 other NBA teams will likely try to find ways to come up with a trade package that can convince the Bucks to engage in a blockbuster deal. As of now, one of the NBA teams who’s frequently linked to Antetokounmpo is the Golden State Warriors. According to a previous The Inquisitr article, in the potential blockbuster deal with the Bucks, the Warriors could send a trade package centered on D’Angelo Russell in exchange for Antetokounmpo.